Cars 2 Review: The Sequel is Here (And a Giveaway, too!)

Cars “Grows Up” with Sequel Cars 2

Find out if 5m4m Contributor Christie O Recommends Cars Sequel, Cars 2, for Your Family…

Yes, the long-awaited sequel to the original Cars squeals into theaters this Friday and promises to be anything but the sweet serenity of the quiet Radiator Springs that was delivered in the first lap.

Truth be told, while some of us may miss that calm simplicity, especially for the littler Cars fans, others might say “Hasta la vista!” while waving to it in the rearview mirror.

The Plot

Cars 2 starts out in the middle of the ocean on the Alaskan crab boat the Northwestern, made famous by the Discovery series The Deadliest Catch and honestly the water looks so real you might actually think you are watching The Deadliest Catch for a second. That is, until the boat starts talking. Voiced by the crab fisherman himself, Captain Sig Hansen, it’s just one of the many clever little additions sprinkled throughout the movie that you’ll miss if you’re not looking for it.


What happens next is a scene straight out of James Bond – undercover spy car (Michael Caine) takes pictures of new secret weapon, spy gets caught, chase ensues followed by shooting, explosions, a faked car death, and voila! Off to the once abandoned, now bustling Radiator Springs with our tow truck buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) – with the action already set in motion half a world away.


Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), freshly home and ready for some relaxation after winning 4 Piston Cups, gets talked into racing once again and before they know it, McQueen’s racing team is jet-setting across three continents toward races that take place in Tokyo, Italy and London. While Lightning McQueen is the star of the international speedways, it’s Mater who becomes the unsuspecting star of this flick when he accidentally collides with this new spy world in a Tokyo bathroom. Mater’s small-town naivety and charm makes for some hilarity as he finds himself in unfamiliar territory – encountering things like a bidet for the first time and figuring out that a pile of wasabi is not pistachio ice cream.

The Detail

The Disney Pixar crew went through great lengths to reflect the details of the race locations by traveling to each destination, researching them, and “car-ifying” them for the big screen. Their work shows through from the cobblestone alleys of Italy to the Eiffel Tower topped by a spark plug and the overcast weather in London. The 3D effects amplify the detail beautifully creating the truly spectacular and vivid animation that Pixar is known for.

The Characters

Most of the characters from Radiator Springs make it into the sequel (Lightning pays homage to the late Doc Hudson voiced by Paul Newman who passed away in 2008), and we get to meet a couple of new characters including the brainchild of Disney Pixar chief John Lasseter, the master British spy car Finn McMissile.
Rookie spy Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) joins the action this go-round (it’s nice to see Mater with a potential love interest, too) and the trio find themselves in a race of their own to foil a plot by the evil “Professor Z” (Thomas Kretschmann) who is trying to sabotage the World Grand Prix. The dueling plot of the movie is Mater and Lightning’s friendship and how it will survive the adventure and turmoil outside the safety net of Radiator Springs, a message that tends to take a backseat to all the action.

In Sum…

It’s hard to not be wowed by all the spy gadgetry, the exotic cars, the weapons, shooting and the explosions (it really is pretty cool). However, parents, be forewarned: the violence in Cars 2 might be a little heavy for the tinier Cars fans. There is one scene in particular where the secret weapon in question is “tested out” on one of the captured spy cars that might be considered disturbing for some of the younger movie goers.

While the original Cars movie is often branded the weakest of the Pixar films, it was both my sons’ first animated film and we loved it. So much so, in fact, we’ve had to replace the DVD due to overuse and we were over the moon excited and waiting with bated breath for the arrival of Cars 2.

I was a little saddened to see the innocence of Radiator Springs become a casualty of the sequel; it felt like my tiny little Cars child grew up, moved on to bigger and better things and doesn’t like to snuggle anymore. But Pixar did hit the nail on the head with the target audience of ages 7 – 12. No doubt that this animated spy movie taps into both adults’ and children’s inner international spy and car fanatic and will have young boys and dads fist pumping across the country.


Cars fans, start your engines! We’re giving away a Cars 2 prizepack that your little racer is sure to fall in love with! The prize pack includes:
-A CARS 2 T-shirt in youth size M
-A CARS 2 set of 3 bumper tickets
-A CARS 2 temporary tattoo sheet
-A CARS 2 puzzle

Just be sure to leave a comment below! Giveaway ends on Tuesday June 28th at Midnight Est. and the winner will be announced shortly after that. Good luck!

Please see our site’s terms and conditions for more information.

Other posts about the Cars 2 Premiere/Disney Dreamworks Event:

Written by 5 Minutes For Mom Guest Contributor, Christie O

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Disclosure: Disney paid Christie’s expenses for the press junket in LA. The opinions expressed are Christie’s.


  1. says

    Thanks for the review! My son’s friends (all about age 2) ADORE Cars, wether or not they’ve actually seen the movie or any of Mater’s shorts.
    I’m disappointed that you’re recommending it for 7-12 but thanks for the heads up on that scene- we turned on monster trucks a few nights ago and my son cried when a truck flipped over,(I guess I have a caring kid!) so I’m sure that scene would make him cry too.

  2. says

    We’re planning to see Cars 2 this weekend at the Drive-In Theater. Will be a first time adventure for not only the boys but for my daughter also (She’s 26!)

  3. says

    Oh my gosh, my little guy would LOVE this prize package. …but now I’m wondering if taking him to the movie is a good idea…I think it will be ok. He’s never been scared by a movie before. hmmm

  4. Heather Erbe says

    My sons would love to win. Thanks for the heads up on the violence. I have a 4 year old that might be scared by it.

  5. says

    I am taking one of my 4 yr old twins on a ‘date day’ next Monday and am thinking about offering this movie up as an option. I know his sister will be jealous, but I’ll be sure to take her another day!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. CaroleM says

    this is the 2nd review I’ve read that says not good for smaller viewers – which is too bad! But my little guy is a huge Cars fan! So we’ll see!

  7. says

    My middle son has been the biggest Cars fan since he was 1 and saw the first movie. He has owned every car, racetrack, and clothing item ever made. Now we are starting on the Cars 2 stuff. This would save us a few dollars and make his day!!!!!!

  8. Pauline M says

    This is going to be my “just turned” 3 year olds very first big screen movie. Since he is such a huge fan, I’m hoping he’ll love it!

  9. Mary H says

    We revisited the original Cars movie just to refresh our memories in preparation for this next go around. My children are older now but still enjoy the first one, and I think this next one will be just right.

  10. Angelique says

    We’re celebrating my son’s 4th birthday on Saturday by taking a group of kids and our family to see Cars 2. My son (and his siblings!) would LOVE this prize pack!

  11. vickie couturier says

    I have 3 little grandsons who just love this movie an cant wait to see this new one

  12. Maureen says

    Oh my gosh, my boys would LOVE this. They are so excited to see this movie. Thanks, Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  13. Michele says

    We love Cars and giveaways too! I am sad to read the review…why can’t cartoons be innocent for all ages?? It’s nice to have a heads up so we can cover eyes or go to the bathroom at the right moments. Thanks!

  14. Gem says

    I’ve been wanting a sequel to come eversince we watched cars 1. We are so excited that they really made cars 2, my son cant wait for it!

  15. says

    We took our 2.5 year old to see it this weekend, and it was very violent. Luckily he didn’t seem to phased by is since I don’t think he fully comprehended the scenes where cars were being destroyed. It had some really funny parts to it too.


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